herald

Saturday 10 December 2016

Man's dog killed by thugs months after his horse was shot

crime

Keith Lyons and his horse, Annie
Keith Lyons and his horse, Annie

Gangland thugs are suspected of killing a 38-year-old's dog just eight months after his beloved horse was shot dead.

Gardai are investigating the latest attack on an animal owned by under-threat Ballyfermot man Keith Lyons.

The latest incident unfolded after Mr Lyons' dog went missing from his mother's home at Croftwood Gardens in the west-Dublin suburb between 1pm and 3pm on Friday of last week.

No trace of the dog was found until the animal's body was placed in a bag and then dumped in another nearby garden two hours after it had escaped from Mr Lyons' mother's home.

The disturbing incident was not reported to gardai until Tuesday. The cause of death of the animal or the dog's breed and name are not known, but sources said gardai believe it was killed deliberately.

"They have killed this individual's horse and it is very possible that the same people have now killed his dog," a source explained.

"The behaviour of these criminals is frankly disgusting and they have shown a complete disregard for all forms of life.

"Who knows where all this will end up?" the source added.

It is not known why the dog was dumped where it was.

Associates of the gang are also suspected of an incident last June in Ballyfermot where an innocent child ended up being shot and almost murdered in a case of mistaken identity.

Mr Lyons was present in the locality but uninjured in that incident, which sparked international headlines and widespread shock.

Mr Lyons was previously arrested by gardai investigating the shooting of the child but is not a suspect in the case.

It is understood that he was quizzed about withholding information.

Gardai have also arrested the chief suspect in that case but no criminal charges have been brought.

Shortly after midnight on August 28 last, at the family home of Mr Lyons in Croftwood Gardens, Ballyfermot, two thugs jumped a wall and used a shotgun to kill his beloved horse Annie.

The horse was fatally shot in the chest when the criminals broke into stables at the back of the Croftwood Gardens property.

The incident unfolded when Keith's brother Glen, who was sleeping in the house, was awoken by a loud bang at around 12.10am.

He jumped up and ran to the back of the property and saw two men who were wearing grey hoodies jumping over the back wall. Both are described as being around five foot, ten inches in height.

Catastrophic

Gardai were then notified after Glen noticed that the horse had suffered catastrophic injuries in the barbaric shooting and officers rushed to the scene.

A car belonging to Mr Lyons was also vandalised outside his home the week before the horse was fatally shot.

In relation to the death of his dog last week, it is not known if the animal was run over by a car on purpose or how the animal was killed.

It is understood that while gardai are aware of the incident involving the dog, they have not received a formal complaint about what happened.

Sources said that this will make it difficult for officers to investigate the dog's death

"Without a complaint from an injured party, these matters are very hard to investigate," said a source.

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